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Man Dies After Winning Roach-Eating Contest

The winner of a cockroach-eating contest in South Florida died shortly after downing dozens of the live bugs as well as worms.

About 30 contestants ate the insects during Friday night's contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, about 40 miles north of Miami. The grand prize was a python.

Edward Archbold, 32, became ill shortly after the competition ended and collapsed in front of the shop, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office statement released on Monday.

He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities are waiting for results of a post-mortem to determine a cause of death.

"Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don't think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat," said Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California.

"Some people do have allergies to roaches but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects."

None of the other contestants became ill, the sheriff's office said.

"We feel terribly awful," said shop owner Ben Siegel, who added that Mr Archbold did not appear to be sick before the contest.

"He looked like he just wanted to show off and was very nice," Mr Siegel said, adding that Mr Archbold was "the life of the party".